BEND, Ore. – Tetherow, a new luxury golf community close to the central Oregon city of Bend, hosted a “soft-opening” June 19-21 for members of the David McLay Kidd-designed golf course, with a public opening planned for late summer 2008.
Kidd is the internationally famous designer of the Castle Course at St. Andrews in Scotland and of Bandon Dunes on the southern Oregon Coast. The Tetherow course will showcase the minimalist, natural style Kidd made famous with those two installations.
Members of private clubs elsewhere may take advantage of reciprocal play for a limited time before Hotel Tetherow opens next year. Initial greens fees are set at $200 per round.
The course is part of Tetherow’s new 700-acre golf resort community which will include Bend’s first luxury hotel. Tetherow also will feature a spa, restaurant, recreation center, conference center and 589 homesites.
When the lower, public area of the golf clubhouse at Tetherow opens this summer, it will feature a pro shop, locker facilities and catered food and beverage. The members-only upper level will include a bar, restaurant, private dining room and separate locker facilities, and is set for a fall opening. Tetherow homeowners will enjoy social memberships in the 17,500-square-foot clubhouse and may also purchase golf memberships. In addition, guests at Hotel Tetherow will have playing privileges and access to the lower level of the clubhouse.
Kidd elaborated on his newest course: “Modern equipment allows practically anyone to create perfectly immaculate golf courses,” he said. “As a result, golfers have almost come to expect that their fields of play are lush and green and manicured... in other words, bland, uninspiring, and cookie cutter. We embrace nature’s imperfections. We seek to take golfers on an adventure marked by nuance and subtlety and unpredictability.”
Tetherow’s course will have the visual characteristics of a seaside links course built near the water’s edge, with many of Kidd’s signature design elements. Landscaping will feature high desert trees such as Ponderosa pine and juniper, and golfers will enjoy views of the Cascade Mountains.
Named “the hottest architect in golf” by Golf World magazine in 1999, Kidd is the only contemporary golf course architect whose work has been the subject of two books. “Dream Golf” chronicled the construction of Bandon Dunes, and “The Seventh at St. Andrews: How Scotsman David McLay Kidd and His Ragtag Band Built the First New Course on Golf's Holy Soil in Nearly a Century” is a shovel-by-shovel look at his work at “the birthplace of golf.”
Born and raised in the Scottish lowlands, Kidd learned the trade at the side of his father, Jimmy Kidd. David Kidd’s formal education came at Writtle College, the largest land sciences college in the UK. After an internship with Southern Golf, a leading golf construction company, he joined a small design firm, Swan Golf Designs, as a designer/project manager. In 1991, at the age of 24, Kidd returned to Scotland as director of design for Gleneagles Golf Developments. In that position, he designed courses throughout the world, including Gokarna Park Golf Resort in Kathmandu, Nepal; Golf De Andratx in Majorca, Spain, and Bandon Dunes.
When he completed Bandon Dunes in 1998, Kidd struck out on his own and established DMK Golf Design, which now has offices in Essex, England and Bend, where he recently purchased the first homesite at Tetherow. In April, 2007, he relocated his world headquarters to Bend.
To enhance the natural features of the unplayable areas, says golf development director Chris van der Velde, Tetherow is spending most of this winter in a re-naturalizing process that takes native vegetation and soil cleared from home lots, the hotel and the clubhouse and reintroduces it around the fairways to blend them with the surrounding environment.
“David wants to make it look as natural as possible,” says Van der Velde, a former European Tour golfer. “It looks like David laid the fairways and greens down between the rolling hills and the sagebrush, bitterbrush and manzanita.”
If all goes well, Tetherow will earn the Audubon International Certified Golf Course designation for its care with the environment, Van der Velde said. It would be the first such certified course in the state of Oregon. In order to achieve certification, golf courses must implement and document projects in environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation and quality management and outreach and education.
Tetherow will be the first of central Oregon’s major resorts to be located so close to the city’s many amenities, and will offer the area’s first luxury hotel accommodations. The resort’s location on the edge of Bend’s upscale west side means that Hotel Tetherow guests and Tetherow homeowners can take advantage of an integrated city and wilderness environment. Arrowood Tetherow, LLC, a Bend development company, owns the Tetherow project. Don Bauhofer and John Lietz are principal partners.